- Thank you all for your condolences. It's so comforting to have a community of support when things are hard…. #
- Paddled in glassy waters under a sky full of stars. So quiet & dark. So much bigger than me. Now: sunrise. #
- Just told Catgirl abt Madge's death: "she had an epic charm bracelet–it made me want to have one." #memories #
- Great-aunt (whe was like a grandma to me) just passed away. She just barely made it to age 90, which was her goal… #
- One more pic from my new @MHpodcast collaboration with @TheHuntington: http://brizzly.com/pic/3RAP #
- RT @MHpodcast: The first Past Tense-Huntington episode of the Making History Podcast!: http://brizzly.com/pic/3RAN http://bit.ly/cCukZT #
- How to prevent firesheep hacks: http://yhoo.it/ciOq2K #
- .@benjaminlind he logged into my Fb, hosted wordpress blog, gmail and flickr acct. Wasn't able to get into my twitter or yahoo mail. in reply to benjaminlind #
- Sitting on wireless in a coffee shop and having @taojunky hack all my accounts via firesheep. Scary, indeed. #
- RT @pamelaezell: Coming to the end of New Employee Orientation. My top takeaway: I need an iPad a la @ATchapman, my seatmate. //indeed! #
- Fingers crossed for some good sleep tonite, got the week off to a bad start today–so grumpy & under the weather… :( #
- My @johnremy's been planning his #wfc wardrobe for weeks. When I travel to confs I feel lucky if I end up w/ tops & bottoms that match. #
- Last piece for costume arrived. It's the 1st yr in a very long time that I had a costume plan b4hand & actually followed through #
- In an otherwise empty mall, the Fahion Island Apple store is hoppin' tonite (& they have my RAM in stock–yay!) #
- Never fails: I start to record a podcast and I'm a cat magnet. You can hear my girls' collar bells in most of the @MHpodcast episodes #
- The desk in my bedroom imploded a few days ago (fell apart at the seams and crashed into a heap). Cleaning up & clearing out now. #
- Love is: Lying on the mats w/@johnremy in the bouldering cave & planning routes together. #
- Just decided: my next career will be drummer for a rock band (clip of Brian Viglione, my hero): http://bit.ly/asPlMb #
- Swam 40 laps under the full moon. #justwhatineeded #
- Just saw @johnremy's zombie walk costume. He rocks it, even if it's not my favorite look on him. #
- My Quaker Meeting is holding an Open House this afternoon. Drop by if you'd like: http://bit.ly/9MjAPb #
- These #blizzcon guys are only slightly geekier-looking than the folks I'd see at a DH event. #butwherearethewomen #
- Just got my projector setup so GameBoy can watch #Blizzcon on a wall of the LR. He's sewing the tabard for his costume while watching #
- Wondering if y'all have any good DH-themed Halloween costume ideas? My plan to dress as @zotero hasn't worked out. #
- Funniest HASTAC comment on "Openness" from @samplereality: http://brizzly.com/pic/3QFP http://bit.ly/bCWklL\ #
- RT @PennamitePLR: @janaremy: is the craft cabin at #thatcampla going to need a smoothie bar? // YES, Indeed! #DHdayofsmoothies #
- Had a high-protein choco-banana smoothie for breakfast. #DHDayofSmoothies #
Back in the days when I was dating, nearly every Halloween I started a new relationship. I didn’t actually realize that pattern until years later, when I was connecting the dots in my photo album. I’d see me in a costume and then realize that was the night that I met “so-and-so.” Was it just the costumes that did that, or was it those not-to-be-missed Newport Beach Halloween dances emceed by Richard Blade (note: beware clicking on that link–it’s loud!)? Perhaps it was because every October after I’d settled into the school year I was looking for something new and it was convenient to let that emerge on a night where I might be emboldened by a costume?
Since being married to John, we’ve dressed up nearly every year (except maybe that year that I was hugely pregnant with Catgirl–I don’t think I wore a costume). For a long time, we kept with our pirate theme, capitalizing on that look from the first time I ever danced with John (to Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” of course), but we’ve also worn black and worn girlie things or manly things (ok, that latter link is just a figment of my imagination, but it’s worth a click anyways), dressed as fictional characters, and even changed our minds at the last minute about our costumes.
So this post isn’t about me starting a new relationship this Halloween, even thought that’s how it began. And it’s not about what costume I’m going to wear, even though I’m looking forward to dressing up. What it’s really about is the need to be something else for a little while.
Although in recent years I’ve embraced risk-taking and facing my fears, I’m actually a fairly reserved and risk-adverse person (I’m a historian, for crying out loud!). I wear fairly conservative clothes, I listen to my music at a respectable volume, I match my socks and fold them into tidy rolls in my drawer. For the most part, I find routine and structure quite satisfying. I don’t wear loud makeup or attention-grabbing clothing or anything that will draw a second glance. I like plain and simple.
But then there’s this one day of the year where I try something totally different. Like a kimono. Or a tutu. Or a wig. It feels good to experiment with that alternate identity for awhile and to see how it feels. On a day when no one will much notice how far I’ve stepped outside of my normal boundaries.
Last year in October I dyed some sections of my hair neon purple. There was no particular reason for me to have purple hair, it just seemed like something worth trying. I was curious if it wold affect the way people interacted with me and/or the way I felt about myself. As far as I can tell, it didn’t really have much of an impact other than being novel.
Much of my life lately seems to hinge on that novelty factor. There’s such a rush from trying new things, or experimenting with new ways of doing things.
One thing, however, that I thought would always be a constant in my life, is my love for books. But ever since I started reading e-books, my love for actual books with paper pages has waned. I like being able to browse through a text quickly via keyword searching. I like being able to jump from TOC to chapter with the click of a link. And having all of my devices synced to that exact page in the novel that I’m reading…has stimulated my love of reading all over again. Instead of needing to carry a book with me to fill in the gaps of my day, I can simply turn on the kindle app on my phone, and be back where I stopped reading the night before.
What about you, are you reading ebooks? If so, how are you liking them? Are they changing your reading habits?
Quite some time ago, I wrote about my shoulders on my blog, and about the various scars/scar tissue that I’ve struggled with over the years. My left shoulder, especially, gives me a lot of discomfort due to the old scars and the memories that it seems to hold in the muscle fibers. Occasionally when I’m paddling I feel a bit of a pop and a loosening in the tissue at the front of my shoulder and realize that some old tension there has just released itself. It both hurts and feels good to feel those changes.
But what’s probably the most remarkable thing about my shoulders is that they are my most important weight-bearing joint. I walk on and with my shoulders everyday when I use my crutches. Over the years those shoulders have adapted in some remarkable ways to the tasks they bear. Like today, I went rock climbing with John in the morning (sans prosthetic) and my shoulders carried most of the load of my body as I pulled and stretched on the wall. And then when we went grocery shopping afterwards, I used my shoulders to bear all of my weight (via the crutches) so I could use my hands to push the grocery cart. It probably looks awkward, but it works well for me because I’ve been doing this kind of thing for 27 years (or so). The few times that I’ve injured my shoulders have been scary–I depend on them so much for moving and balancing. If I had a long-term shoulder injury, my mobility would actually be more limited than with an injury to my foot or leg. That frightens me.
Sometimes I wonder if I should protect my body more rather than subjecting it to hard workouts with swimming and paddling and rock climbing, or whatever else the exercise du jour is. Perhaps I should do something safe and gentle. Perhaps I should avoid straining and stretching–just in case. I don’t want to risk chronic injury or a lifetime of joint pain. But then there’s this other part of me that fears that if I weren’t asking so much of my shoulders, that they wouldn’t grow strong enough for a lifetime of heavy lifting.
Tonite’s post finds me snuggled in on the couch. I’m sneezy right now, and my glands are swollen. That’s probably far more than you wanted to know about me, but this post is going to have a bit more TMI than my usual, so I thought I’d just get warmed-up from the get-go….
For quite some time now I’ve been meaning to follow up on my #genderd experiment. At the close of that day, one of the things I realized was that I never tweeted about using the bathroom. And I should have. It’s one of the most explicitly gendered choices I make several times per day at the office. I work on the floor of a building that has two restrooms. They are both single stalls with locked doors. One has signage for men, and one for woman. Or at least, they did back on September 1st when I did my #genderd experiment. But shortly after that day, I received an email from Chapman University’s SafeSpace Committee saying that they were working to locate all single-stall bathrooms on campus and change them from an assigned-sex bathroom to a gender-neutral bathroom. So I replied to them about the ones on my floor and suggested that the change would be particularly welcome because the floor primarily has women’s offices, so there can often be a line for the women’s bathroom, but I’ve never seen any men waiting in line for their designated stall. And honestly I thought many times about just using the men’s stall myself–given that it had a locking door, what would be the harm in doing so? But because I still felt so new at my job and I felt too uncomfortable to push the social boundary of using the opposite-sex bathroom stall in front of my colleagues. So I didn’t.
When I returned from my trip last week I discovered new signage on the men’s stall. It now has a men/women/wheelchair sign, while the women’s bathroom stall signage stayed the same. I think that’s peculiar, but I haven’t yet written to the the campus sign-maker to see why both stalls weren’t given the same signs. But perhaps what’s more interesting, are the surprised looks on the faces I’ve seen when I use the now-gender-neutral stall. After I exit that door I’ve seen colleagues walk up very close to the sign as if to see if it’s “real.” I’ve only seen one other woman ever use it, and she wasn’t a regular on our floor.
While I think having one neutral stall on the floor is certainly progress, I still think it would be far better to have two neutral stalls. Because it seems that as long as there is a women’s stall, the other stall will be “not women’s.” However, it could be that the reason they kept one as women’s is that it includes the wastebin at the side of the toilet for “hygiene” products (what a janitor friend of mine affectionately called the “cigar box”), and the formerly-men’s bathroom doesn’t have that feature. I’ve also noticed each time I use the not-women’s restroom that the toilet seat has been left up. I’m going to guess that that’s a leftover from when it was a “men’s” stall only.
And…speaking of men…
Last week I had the strangest concurrence of experiences. By the third time it happened I was so rattled, I could hardly make my way back to the place where I was staying for the night…
Three times in three days I had men call me out in public space, yelling sex-laden obscenities. What is probably most bizarre about this experience is that I’ve never had a man even so much as whistle my direction before (unless, perhaps, it was my partner being playful). Catcalls from strangers seemed like something that happened to streetwalkers and not to women that look like me. I suppose I’ve never experienced this because I don’t often walk in urban spaces–I’ve tended to live in middle-class suburban areas. But I also suspect that women who are disabled are far less likely to garner attention from male strangers.
The third time this happened I was alone and in a fairly deserted area of a city where I knew I probably shouldn’t be walking at night. But I was hungry and there was a corner store a few blocks away. I was sure I’d be just fine. And I was. But having a group of men following behind me and hurtling obscenities my way as I walked down the block? I was so scared. What was I scared of? Scared, knowing that I couldn’t run if they came after me. Scared, because I didn’t think I could dial anything coherent on my cellphone of they neared. Scared, because there was no one else nearby to hear if I should scream. Looking back on it now, it’s possible that these men might’ve even thought that they were flattering me with their opinions about my body. Perhaps they thought that I would respond back playfully or provocatively. But I think they knew that what they were doing was cruel and that I was scared shitless, despite my attempt to walk even more tall and confidently down the block as the vulgarity continued.
There was nothing in my clothing or in my behavior that indicated that I would be a target for men’s attention. I have a “boy” haircut, I’m nearly 40 years old. I was not wearing makeup and I was wearing “Mom” jeans (read: not sexy). But I was identifiably female, still, which is why I suppose I was a target.
I deliberately choose to raise my kids in an upper-middle-class neighborhood where just about anyone can safely walk at night. Though there are occasionally some college rowdy college students around, there is little to fear in my environment. There are, of course, costs to living in such a homogeneous suburban community, and lately I’ve wondered if we haven’t veered towards being too “safe” in choosing a place to live. For example, I relish the vibrancy of the urban neighborhoods that I found on recent travels through Oakland, San Francisco, and in San Diego, and felt the contrast to our “vanilla” community quite keenly. And while I usually don’t feel that I fit in my neighborhood (I am not really a vanilla gal, myself), it would be hard for me to change now if it meant facing the kind of jeering that I experienced last week on a regular basis. I suppose I would get used to it–perhaps even expect it. But it’s hard for me to imagine that now, I suspect I might just always be afraid.
- I'm at Verano Community Garden in Irvine, CA http://gowal.la/c/2JPDB?137 #
- I'm at Verano Place in Irvine, CA http://gowal.la/c/2JPC4?137 #
- Just finished shopping! — at Trader Joe's http://gowal.la/c/2JPBv?137 #
- Just finished editing my 1st podcast for the Huntington Library's iTunesU site. So excited about this collaboration! #
- "Someone" is ditching high school today for a Blizzard job fair interview and also a possible Bio lab assistant position #theygrowupsofast #
- When we dare to be powerful, to use our strength in service of our vision, then it bcomes less & less important whether we are afraid~Lourde #
- .@johnremy RT @BWJones: The Cirrate octopus http://bit.ly/a4nARa I love knowing that such amazing creatures are with me in the ocean… #
- Earlier this morning I gave up my plot in our community garden, because something had to give. Been there a decade. Hurting. #
- One thing I learned from hanging out with friends in NorCal last week: I seem to sleep less than most people. #whoneedssleepanyways #
- Listening to @fpfmusic's "I Fell Off My Name" brings back so many memories it hurts. Missing the Williamses & the Outhouse… #
- RT @johnremy: Climbing: @janaremy shows us how it's done: http://twitpic.com/2zdyjc #
- RT @THATCampSoCal: Now reviewing THATCampSoCal applications for the first round of acceptances. IOW, get yours in soon! http://bit.ly/axYCyh #
- Some of my thoughts on Openness in Academia, in a #HASTAC forum today: http://bit.ly/bCWklL #
- Is wearing purple. #
- Confession: I love seeing Tobykitty clawing at my fav armchair these days. And I think she loves my half-hearted scolding. :) #
- Each new release of #anthologize feels like Christmas morning. At the Mason Inn bar. #onehourtogo #
- RT @boonebgorges RT @patrickgmj: Lots of @anthologize activity this morning. It's almost like there's a new release coming out in an hour… #
- Just spent a lovely evening w/@sugar_bird & @katrinagulliver. Love using the power of Twitter for finding like-minded scholars! #
- Just learned what a "mobisode" is. Really disappointed that it doesn't involve a mob. Or Moby. Or MOBI. #
- RT @whitneytrettien: We need a hospice website for terminally-ill DH projects. You know, those awsm tools you find, last updated in 2004? #
- Came home to find a Tobykitty who's more herself than she's been in 6 months. #sucharollercoasterride #joyjoyjoy #
- Have had multiple conf trips every month this past year,'cept August. Now, heading home & staying there until 2011. #theresnoplacelikehome #
- At Donner Pass, in the rain #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3PDI #
- Someone (named Taylor) told me today that I look all of 30 years old. I think I need to hang out with him more often… #
- Wow, can't believe #wha2010 is over–that went fast! I'll still be around tonite–DM me if you'd like to meet up at Cutthroat #
- Orsi expresses delight at recent increase in RR papers at #wha2010 (I agree! There can't be too many RR sessions) #
- Audience & panelists are uber-attentive to Orsi's comment on the RR panel http://brizzly.com/pic/3P7Y #wha2010 #
- Speaking on Land Management in Oregon, Sean Kammer http://brizzly.com/pic/3P7T #wha2010 #
- Now, @jaheppler on Railroad Law #wha2010 http://plixi.com/p/51042173 #
- Listening to @rvoss on timber & trestles #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3P7M #
- I guess that post-panel swim in the Lake isn't going to happen after all. #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3P7I #
- Stephanie takes the podium at #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3P6T #
- Here's @ashawk rocking the podium at #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3P6Q #
- The view from the lakeside room where I'm giving my #wha2010 talk this morning http://brizzly.com/pic/3P6M #
- Uh-oh, didn't get far with our Thelma & Louise getaway (those Tahoe police were right on our tail) http://brizzly.com/pic/3P32 #
- Such a gorgeous sunny (hipstamatic) day in Lake Tahoe #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3P27 #
- Pic of #wha2010 pools http://brizzly.com/pic/3P1H #
- Nearly froze last night when I tried swimming in the pools behind the #wha2010 hotel. But the stars were gorgeous. #
- Some rough notes from yesterday's Digital Research Methods workshop at #wha2010 http://bit.ly/dkJLF2 #
- Any DHers @ #wha2010 want to meetup this evening? I've got #anthologize shwag to share & would love to talk abt dig proj mgmt issues #
- Wishing there was an internet lounge space at this hotel–annoyed that I can only get wireless while in my room #wha2010 #
- Strategizing ways to keep body parts attached (unlike yesterday when I kept losing a leg). Plan involves cupcakes & a bandana. #zombiewha #
- Such a ridiculously gorgeous conference venue #wha2010 http://brizzly.com/pic/3OZ1 #
I really really really want to write a long blogpost about my experiences from this past week and my meetings with scholars in NorCal.
I am home. And I just need to be home for a few hours.
I have so much work calling my name, it might be a few days before I get to share all that I’ve learned with you.
In the meantime, let me share just one little thing. Last week while I was staying with my friend Barbara, we decided to go rock climbing at Mission Cliffs. It was sort of a spontaneous adventure and because I didn’t have my beach/sport leg on hand, I climbed as a uniped. And you know what? It felt so right. I clambered up the wall face faster than ever before–hopping from one “hold” to the next with my one foot, and using my arms to pull me up each time. I felt so free and strong hanging on that wall and now I can’t wait to go back and try it that way again. I didn’t get a picture of myself up on the wall last week, but here’s one of me climbing bipedally from a few months ago…
- Heading down for a much-needed swim & hottub soak. #wha2010 #
- Converted a whole slew of Western historians to @Zotero during the Digital Methods Workshop. Love sharing my fav tool! #wha2010 #
- Lake Tahoe! http://brizzly.com/pic/3OQP #
- Am assessing Angela's tastiness as we head over Donner Pass…for some reason she's scooching to the opposite side of the car… #
- At Temple Coffee in Sacto http://brizzly.com/pic/3OPK on my way to #wha2010 #
- One more pic for the night: an image from my adventure at Stanford's 1890s chapel with @lookbackmaps & co http://brizzly.com/pic/3OLS #
- 2nd floor: blurry bannisters http://brizzly.com/pic/3OLP #
- The crazy-steep staircase up to my 3rd floor room #wortheverystep http://brizzly.com/pic/3OLL #
- On veranda of historic Sacto home, noshing dinner of milk & fig newtons from corner store http://brizzly.com/pic/3OLD #
- Huge kudos to @barbarahui & @lookbackmaps for showing me around & to the #thatcampsf & mapping community for so much inspiration! #
- Awed by meeting so many new friends these past few days. Seems eons ago that @lookbackmaps retrieved me from SFO! & now, on to #wha2010 #
- View of coast from train at sunset http://brizzly.com/pic/3OK2 #
- Bad RAM removed, MacBook booting again. #whatarelief #
- Fingers crossed that Mac Geniuses in SF can solve my laptop crash. Particularly bad timing for computer problems. :( #
- Friend just sent me this pic from Walden Pond last month. Made me smile :) http://brizzly.com/pic/3OI8 #
- I want a re-boot of this morning :( #
- Getting on the wall at Mission Climb tonite–feel free to join the fun if you're in the area! :) #
- My brother-in-law in zero G yesterday: http://brizzly.com/pic/3O75 , link http://bit.ly/bBgORq #
- RT @LookBackMaps: Honest thoughts, ive hrd similar frm other DHers. #thatcamp growing pains? RT @janaremy: blogpost: http://bit.ly/9woCdt #
- RT @westcenter: Thanks to @janaremy for an inspiring, informative visit today. The "one week" trope has taken hold @westcenter @Stanford! #
- Bikes everywhere on @Stanford campus is such a contrast to #UCI #039;s no-bikes on Ring Road rule #
- At Stanford after a morning ramble through the "mission" & a Caltrain ride. Super-sunny day! http://brizzly.com/pic/3O0W #
- RT @westcenter: Want to join us @Stanford for @janaremy's talk on One Week | One Tool "barn-raising" of @anthologize? Ping me for details #
- Still embarrassed that I tried to order pizza from @historying this afternoon. Definitely gotta get some sleep tonite! #thatcamp #
- One more reason to love @wordpress HQ: the kayak! http://brizzly.com/pic/3NV9 #thatcamp #
- Did anyone pick up a spare USB-iPhone cord last night? Mine's missing :( #thatcamp #thatcampsf #
- Can't create Augmented reality points bc my iPhone is too old. :(. But love learning abt this anyways #thatcamp #
- Just learned how to make a 'zine by folding & licking, from dinoaids.com #thatcamp #
- & got biz class upgrade w/ extra legroom. Things r looking up! #thatcampsf #longlegs #
- Spoke too soon– just got a seat! Woot! anyone going 2 #thatcampsf have a spare toothpaste, hairgel, neosporin? #
- Cat's having massive seizures again, I forgot my toiletries, & now it looks like I've been bumped frm my flight. :( #thatcampsf #
It was hard for me to tweet this weekend for a variety of reasons, one of those being that I misplaced my phone charger cord (ack!), and another being that I was participating in an “unconference” called THATCamp Bay Area that required a great deal of attentiveness. But probably the most significant reason that I wasn’t tweeting was that I felt uncomfortable with being a part of a select group of attendees at this event, knowing that many qualified people weren’t able to attend. That took a great deal of the pleasure out of advertising my own presence. I know that’s a bit ridiculous, and if anything is counter-intuitive because I ought to be tweeting precisely because it would include non-attendees in the conversation. But I didn’t over-analyze my resistance–instead I immersed myself more wholly in being present. While at the conference I talked quite a bit about my work with One Week | One Tool, but I felt awkward about advertising the fact that I was part of this project too loudly, again knowing how many scholars vied for positions on the team and feeling somewhat self-conscious about my own good fortune in winning one of the golden tickets to participate.
Digital Humanities tends to be quite an inclusive community (as some have said, it is a “big tent”). At my core, I believe in open-source, freely-shared tools and content. I don’t like cliques and in-groups and members-only clubs. I feel everyone has a place at the table and I’ll undoubtedly continue to struggle with those moments when some are excluded because there aren’t enough chairs for everyone who wants to join the feast.
Perhaps I’m feeling overly self-conscious about my own good fortune in attending these events. Or perhaps I’m concerned that I’ll be labeled as a member of a particular inner-circle of DHers that I don’t really feel a part of. Or perhaps I’m simply insecure about my own place in the field. It’s probably a combination of all-of-the-above, as well as a recognition of how much I still have yet to learn from those around me.
And speaking of that….I’ll be in the Bay Area for the next few days meeting with scholars and friends. If you’d like to see if we can connect, drop me a note in a comment or via twitter.
Our Toby kitty is ill again. We are holding out hope that her latest med cocktail might help her feel normal again, but also know that her condition does seem to be worsening over time…
It’s hard to be far away while she’s so ill. It’s hurts to love so much.
- Oops–missing pic from @johnremy's book licking @anthill http://brizzly.com/pic/3NB1 #rigoramortis #
- So @johnremy is licking & signing copies of #rigoramortis at #anthillpub tonite! :) #
- Just finished a #THATCamp podcast interview with @amandafrench. Does anyone else want to offer their advice for #THATCamp newbies? #
- I'm so moved by this. Hugs to all of #IMUA #outrigger http://plixi.com/p/49197104 #
- Wishing I could arrange to arrive at #thatcampsf by kayak. Anyone in the bay area have one to loan? http://brizzly.com/pic/3N1Q #
- Creating a podcast to explain #THATCamp to n00bs. DM me if you're willing to do a short skype interview. #thatcampsocal #
- why (oh why) would a conf hotel charge $366 for use of an old-school overhead proj? Do they not know they sell for $25 on ebay? #WHA2010 #
- Rainy days in SoCal mean lunchtime jaunts to Orange Circle antique shops :) http://brizzly.com/pic/3MKM #
- Just put some skin on my right leg, for the first time in over a year. Feels really weird. And is making me sneeze. #
- Just came across gift book frm Mike Davis frm my 1st year of grad school. Nostalgia. Longing. Wondering if I've lived up to expectations… #
- Oddly, learning abt all the brush tools in Photoshop makes me want to play in some real paint #
- In all-day Adobe Creative Suite training at #ChapmanU They just told us it'll be a 'no-fluff' intense day…. #
- I really need to add a USB port to my robot knee for powering all of my ancillary devices. #nooutletsnearby #
- Started the day with situps & yoga. How did you 'get moving' this morning? #
Have you ever used crutches? If so, you know just how cumbersome they can be. If you’re not actually walking with them at the moment, they’re either underfoot tripping someone or they’re leaning against a wall and in an inconvenient space. They’re also pretty hard to stow in most compact cars.
One of the things that makes travel a challenge for me is that I always bring crutches along. Because if I don’t have a set, I’m likely to be in a circumstance where I’ll lose my mobility. Like maybe I’m staying in a hostel and the bathroom is more than a few hops away from my bed. Or maybe I want to swim in a pool and there’s no dry safe space for me to stow my bionic leg within an easy skooch from the pool (and given that it costs $25K for the knee alone, it’s not worth risking some random splashing). Or maybe (just maybe) I want to spend some time at the beach and get my foot wet. In any of those circumstances I really need the crutches.
But carrying crutches around along with luggage is such a pain.
On my last speaking stint I arrived the night before and stayed in a hotel so I would be fresh for the next day’s talk. But because I was checking out of the hotel on my way to the talk, I had to bring my luggage with me. Which also meant bringing my crutches. It was more than a bit awkward to arrive at my speaking engagement with an overnite bag, crutches, and my presentation materials.
And this next trip that I’m going on to the Bay Area, I’ll be moving from one sleeping place to another at least three different times in one week. And each time that’ll mean using public transport with crutches and bag(s), perhaps lugging everything along to conference events and campus visits. I keep trying to figure out some way to not have to carry those crutches along every time, and….I think there isn’t one. I feel so terribly whiny admitting my annoyance at those crutches.